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Biden's $1.8 trillion 'family plan,' 100 days as 'consoler-in-chief' and one special birthday

Biden is expected to make his proposal during his first joint address to Congress this evening.
Image: President Joe Biden speaks about updated CDC mask guidance on the North Lawn of the White House
President Joe Biden speaks about updated CDC mask guidance on the North Lawn of the White House on April 27, 2021.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Good morning, NBC News readers.

President Joe Biden is set to propose a $1.8 trillion plan for families, workers and students as he marks nearly 100 days in office with a joint address to Congress.

Here's more on that and everything else we're watching this Wednesday morning.

Biden's $1.8 trillion plan: Raise taxes on rich to fund free preschool, community college

President Joe Biden will announce a roughly $1.8 trillion plan to invest in universal preschool and free community college in his first joint address to Congress tonight, as well as expanded access to child care, a senior administration official said.

The proposal, which the White House calls the American Families Plan, would also increase taxes on the wealthy to offset the cost over 15 years. It is the second phase of Biden's two-part push to reshape the economy, following the $2 trillion infrastructure plan he announced last month.

However, the proposal is expected to face stiff resistance from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Biden's address tonight will be similar to the official State of the Union speech, albeit with coronavirus pandemic restrictions in place that will limit the size of the audience.

The 9 p.m. ET speech will be an opportunity for Biden to present his policy priorities and accomplishments, as well as outline his vision for the country. Here's how you can watch it.

The speech comes just two days before Biden notches his 100th day in the White House. During the last three months, many say Biden has become our pandemic-stricken nation's "consoler-in-chief" as he's helped the country publicly mourn those lost to Covid-19 and shown empathy for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Wednesday's top stories

Image: Khalil Ferebee, the son of Andrew Brown Jr., embraces Tenicka Shannon, the mother of Fred Cox, who was killed by police in North Carolina last year, in Elizabeth City, N.C.,
Jonathan Drake / Reuters

Fatal shooting of Black man by N.C. deputies exposes 'enduring flaws' in policing, experts say

The outcome in the trial of Derek Chauvin was considered a significant step toward changing policing. But the fatal police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man in North Carolina, just hours after the verdict was announced is being viewed as a major setback by many. "Sending Chauvin to prison doesn't make Floyd's family whole, it doesn't change an individual cop from pulling the trigger, and, most importantly, it doesn't change the system that's broken," said one lawyer. New video released Tuesday shows the moment a SWAT-style team from the sheriff's office arrived to arrest Brown. By Erik Ortiz | Read more

U.S. Navy ship fires warning shots after Iranian boats come close

It was the second tense encounter at sea in less than a month, after about a year of no such incidents, and it coincided with high-stakes negotiations between Iran and world powers over its nuclear program. By Dan De Luce and Mosheh Gains | Read more

A mayor, a pastor and an adult film star: Who’s running against Calif Gov. Newsom

Nearly 20 years have passed since California voters recalled a governor and voted a Republican into office. While political strategists warn against comparing this recall to the one that ushered movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger into the governor's mansion, the growing list of conventional and nontraditional candidates is already capturing the public imagination. By Alicia Victoria Lozano | Read more

OPINION: Biden blames corporations for not paying taxes, but his own state helps them do it

Delaware undercuts the president's proposals by making it easy for companies to benefit from tax havens abroad. He should fix that, not raise taxes. By Joshua Jahani | Read more

Pandemic-ravaged restaurants can tap a $29 billion grant program starting Monday

Some federal relief is coming for restaurant owners who have had to struggle with pandemic shutdowns, an economic downturn, supply chain snarls and a slow return of customers and staff. By Ben Popken | Read more

BETTER: 6 bright and tasty salads for spring

Want to make a salad that feels like a meal? Use this simple formula. By Ronnie Koenig | Read more

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One amazing thing

World War II paratrooper veterans Jim "Pee Wee" Martin and Dan McBride walk across the drop zone at Pee Wee's Jump Fest in Xenia, Ohio.
Luke Sharrett / for NBC News

Few people reach 100.

Particularly few people who landed on the beaches of Normandy as part of the 101st Airborne Division on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

World War II paratrooper Jim "Pee Wee" Martin has managed both feats. And he had a 100th-birthday party celebrating both achievements.

Read the story about "Pee Wee's Jump Fest," an event honoring Martin and five other World War II veterans from the 101st Airborne.

And Happy Birthday Pee Wee!

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Thanks, Petra